The year 1790 marked an important stage in the history of the westward movement. The constitutional government under President Washington had been established the year be fore. One of his duties was to make a number ing of the people so that an equal representa tion in Congress might be had. The first census taken in 1790 enabled us to know the number of people in each county and town and hence the distribution of population. It showed that little "islands" of people had run far ahead of the main body and established themselves, as already described, in Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. Not more than 5 per cent of the 3,929, 214 total population lived west of the Alle ghany watershed. The front wave of the people extended almost uniformly along the eastern slope of the mountains, throwing out long arms along the four routes to the West. The average distance of the people from the ocean was not more than 250 miles. The Americans were still coast dwellers. The West was as yet unknown. The most thickly settled portions lay in an ir regular line from Portsmouth, N. H., to Balti more, Md. Here dwelt more than 60 people to the square mile.
The westward advance, as suggested hereto fore, was hindered constantly by the hostility of the savages. Perforce the national govern ment was gradually given control of them by the States. It recognized them as foreigners so far as making treaties with them for the pos session of their land was concerned. Scores of these treaties were made, establishing lines be yond which the whites solemnly promised not to migrate and east of which the Indian agreed not to molest the white. But it was impossible for the government to restrain the land-hunger of the citizen when confronted by a savage. On the frontier, treaties were secondary to force. These broken and obsolete Indian treaty lines, from which the savages were driven back, bear a striking resemblance to the positions occupied at different decades by the foremost line of the pioneers. In order to provide for the unstay able advance of population, increased constantly in numbers by immigration from Europe, the national gov,rnment was convinced that some thing like a general policy of treating with the Indians must be formulated. The whites some times surrounded the Indian lands, threatening to annihilate the savages, if they did not move on. Thus in 1820, the advance line of pioneers extended from Kentucky in a strong belt down through Tennessee and western Alabama to Louisiana; but between these people and their brethren in South Carolina and Georgia lay hundreds of miles occupied only by the savage Creeks and Cherokees. Toward the north, civ ilization had spread up from the Ohio River about to the latitude of Vincennes and Saint Louis, but further advance was barred by the Pottawatomies. With difficulty the whites were kept from annihilating whole tribes. Peace and preservation for the Indian as well as for the white could be secured only by keeping the former well in advance of civilization, assign ing them to some remote portion of the country which they could hold en bloc. Here they could
dwell perpetually. See TREATIES, INDIAN.
Many Presidential messages, beginning with those of Jefferson, advocated such a disposition of the Indian. In 1839 a revision of the laws regulating trade with the Indians was made. One provision set aside all the land lying to the west of the Mississippi River except the States of Louisiana and Missouri and the Territory of Arkansas to be an "Indian country.° Within a few years it received the Creeks, the Seminoles, the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws and other warlike tribes from east of the Mississippi. Some came willingly, others by compulsion. Incidental to their removal occurred the Semi nole War and the Supreme Court case of Wor cester v. Georgia. Gradually the "Indian coun try° was scaled down to the temporary Indian Territory. Released from the barrier of sav ages, population moved forward more evenly and brought portion after portion of the new lands to statehood. The admission of new States to the Union was made possible by the western movement. So early as Revolutionary days, the number of people pouring across the moun tains showed that some provision must be made for governing the land beyond the undisputed limits of the 13 States. It might be held as a tributary province, it might be left to protect itself or it might be nourished by the parent until it reached a stated point and then be ad mitted to equal rights in free government. In 1780 Congress, wishing to persuade the States having claims on the "back lands" to yield them, promised that it would not hold land entrusted to it as subject territory, but would erect it into States of moderate size as rapidly as population should warrant. This promise had the desired effect and has been redeemed 32 times by the national government. With the exception of Maine, created from a Massachusetts Bay prov ince; Vermont, claimed by several adjacent States, and Florida, purchased from Spain, the new States have been created uniformly on the western side of the old 13 and have been due entirely to the western migration across the continent. New accessions of territory brought land for these new States. The additions of Louisiana, the Floridas, Texas, California and Oregon have come from the movement and de mand of the people. The invariable condition of these acquisitions has been that trade allures the American into a neighboring foreign pos session. He becomes involved with the author ities, or friction ensues in some other way, and he then demands that his flag shall follow and protect him. Trade never follows the flag, but trade demands that the flag shall follow and protect it. By means of these additions the people have spread over a territory 10 times that of the original 13 States.